Nikon Just Df things, seen by M shooter

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
Df with the 85 D is a great thing indeed. Between the D and the G lens I find I prefer to hear noise and feel vibration from the focus so that there's haptic feedback about what's happening. The G lens focuses so smoothly and without beeps I'm not always sure it is working at all.

The AF-D lenses consequently also all have good-feeling focus rings? By design they're not dampened very well but at least on the 85 it's nice and smooth. I can imagine the 85 is not the easiest lens to work in MF.
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Jan 19, 2015
Df with the 85 D is a great thing indeed. Between the D and the G lens I find I prefer to hear noise and feel vibration from the focus so that there's haptic feedback about what's happening. The G lens focuses so smoothly and without beeps I'm not always sure it is working at all.

The AF-D lenses consequently also all have good-feeling focus rings? By design they're not dampened very well but at least on the 85 it's nice and smooth. I can imagine the 85 is not the easiest lens to work in MF.
I *think* AF-D lenses are generally autofocus AI-S lenses optically but with the plastic housing so therefore not as “sexy” (though this is not an issue for me). But when it comes to image rendering, most of them are really really good.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
Bittersweet times. Once I got the 85 D in front of the body, the overall experience sprung from "meh" to "yeah!"

I like the optical viewfinder experience, the momentary blackout gives a nice moment to reflect on the shot I just composed and took.

I can only imagine how great things look when I place an ultrawide on it. Corners have such importance in a composition and with M it's just not very convenient with lenses wider than 35 mm. (Leica really ought to make a 0.8x magnifier piece to allow a good view of the 28mm framelines!)

M and Df. One's a Ferrari (an older stick shift model, no computers) and the other a modern V8 SUV.

Both have pretty big egos and it's difficult to keep both under the same roof.

Another analogy. Leica is the classy wife of mine that expects designer clothes, furniture, jewelry, whereas Nikon Df is like this girl I'm dating on the side (nothing serious yet) who is more than content with Value Depot clothing and Burger King.

Yet the money is not such an issue because everything's paid for. I have 10 days left to decide if I want to keep the side piece or alternatively break up with her and buy the 90 f/2 APO Summicron for the old lady as an apology...
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
This Nikon Df is a perfect piece of gear. Hot damn.

The optical TTL is excellent, I've come to admit. Oh, the possibilities.

The older Nikkor lenses with low element counts, all very much optically aligned with my preferences.

And you can get a 28/35/50/85 collection of such lenses for a grand easy. And they focus nicely and they even can be focused automatically! How cool is that.

But I still feel like I'm on our honeymoon with Leica. I can't host these two beauties at once, it's too much.

I'm feeling great about the future, wherein I have gained my sanity and sold the Leicas and I am able to get into Nikon "full time".

Then again, where will Nikon Df be in 2030?
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
This Nikon Df is a perfect piece of gear. Hot damn.

The optical TTL is excellent, I've come to admit. Oh, the possibilities.

The older Nikkor lenses with low element counts, all very much optically aligned with my preferences.

And you can get a 28/35/50/85 collection of such lenses for a grand easy. And they focus nicely and they even can be focused automatically! How cool is that.

But I still feel like I'm on our honeymoon with Leica. I can't host these two beauties at once, it's too much.

I'm feeling great about the future, wherein I have gained my sanity and sold the Leicas and I am able to get into Nikon "full time".

Then again, where will Nikon Df be in 2030?
In 2030 the Df will be 17 years old, I bought mine the year after the M Monochrom. I have a 27 year old DSLR, still works.

I will have to fire up the Nikon E3. It is 22 years old. Still works.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
Now I'm presented new opportunities to jump back to the Df train.

Two Df's, one silver and one black, sub-grand.

A nice duo on beautiful lenses waiting for it.

I kind of promised myself to reacquire one as I encounter one for the same money as the first one. I have a nice trip planned in three weeks so that makes for a good reason no to jump at one right away. :) Secondly the shop might be giving another -10% off deal on used gear later on. Thirdly I kind of love how small my CC bill was...
 

Matero

All-Pro
Jan 28, 2014
Helsinki, Finland
BTW I've been meaning to ask @Matero... what's your current story with Df? Meaning to keep it on 5D's side? :)
Yes, Canon is a tool which allows one to take very nice pictures. Easily and efficiently. But Df and Leica M8 are cameras for photography. Different zen, but there’s certainly room for both… (Read: I’ve invested so much to Nikon lenses and own old gems so can’t say to wife that I’m now going to shoot only with Canon):whistling:
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
I checked the Nikkor 35/2 AF-D showcase at NikonCafe and seems like it's doing as beautiful sunstars as my Summicron 35. And nice 25 cm MFD as well. Spells some trouble now doesn't it! :)
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
I've started to notice how Nikkor SLR lenses always have this "chippy" or "flaky" bokeh. It's exotic for a Leica shooter but I wonder if that effect goes pretty old quickly.

The flakes are these perfectly formed bokeh balls that you get, they overlap between each other but don't blur perfectly, instead making flakes.

That same flaky bokeh in pretty much everything. The 85 D. The 28-70 zoom. Someone's 70-200E.

Just another of these things that an M shooter sees fresh-eyed in Nikon.
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
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I have a lot of Nikon lenses, and can almost group them by optical block diagrams. Sonnars, Xenotars, Planars, etc. I've not seen a single "Nikon Look".

This is from a comparison of the Nikkor 50/1.2 Ais with my 50/1.1 Nokton. The Nikkor was $400, slightly used- mint with box.
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
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Nikkor-O 35mm F2 factory Ai'd, second version; Nikkor 85mm F1.8, final version Factory Ai'd; Nikkor 105/2.5 Ai (Xenotar formula);
Nikkor 50/1.2 Ais.
 
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mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
I've not seen a single "Nikon Look".
That gives, you know them all ;)I have only focused on a handful of lenses that make sense for my use personally. Those lenses happen to share some characteristics. Maybe it's all in my head.

There are some samples; one is grabbed from a picture not by me but I reckon it's fair use. Three samples, three different lenses. I see the flakes.

Overly smooth bokeh is not my thing either so in a way I welcome this "gritty" look but hopefully I'll start seeing other things too.

char4.jpg

char3.jpg

char2.jpg

 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, VA
Steve
Hidden under mountains of toilet paper? :biggrin:
But then again, there are the lures of nostalgia. By that time, all cameras will be too good to really distinguish for most people. Who knows what phone cams will be like? People will searching for a "look", which usually means imperfections. The Df is well built enough that it might survive. I currently have a 10 year-old E-P1 that works just fine. I catch myself look at D3's now and then. I think if I had a single Nikon lens I might have bought one by now. Let's see, how much are those 50's ? . . .
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
No sub-€1000 Nikon bodies available, the last ones were the ones sold by a retailer (as second-hand bodies) in June.

Moreover, Nikon's new stock on their own market place is going. Silver Df (body only) is no more available. Black Df or the body-lens kit (both colors) is available. There were also refurbished bodies; they are gone too. On a fresh check, I was incorrect: there were refurb body-only deals but no more; currently there are refurb kits in both colors available.

  • Df Body only; 2nd/3rd party: ~1000 €
  • Df Body only; 2nd/3rd party via eBay: ~1400 €
  • Df Body only refurbished: 1649 € (SOLD OUT currently)
  • Df + Kit 50/1.8 AF-S refurbished: 1799 €
  • Df Body brand new: 1899 €
  • Df + Kit 50/1.8 AF-S brand new: 2099 €
Black Df looks GORGEOUS but I am physically unable to pay money for a black body if there exists a good silver one also for the same money. And I do still maintain that there's a tiny miniscule benefit using a silver camera in street shooting. (Not that I've actually shot any street in a long time...)
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
One silver Df for 1050 € has surfaced. An extra battery is welcome. There's also a battery grip (though remarkably unusable thing for Nikon since it can't have working buttons and the battery life is good anyway) and the whole original box.

A private individual selling from across the country so there's always this uncertainty about the condition. Good looking in the pictures. Low shutter count, but why's that? Mirror misaligned so badly the owner only uses it once a Sunday to capture impressionistic sun rays?

At the same time, the usual policy of no returns would greatly help with my anxiety of getting along with the new camera! I wouldn't have the panic of acting within a return period, instead I could well take my time with the camera into the fall and winter. After all, its value is not going to decrease overnight. Unlike buying new or Nikon-refurbished where I had that panic going on for the 15 days or so, whatever happens to be the return window.
 
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mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
Df rides again!

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The last time I handled a Nikon body was in March; picking this up and setting it up happened 100% without manuals. Nikons have very good menus.

The first body I had in March was lousy compared to this one. That one had one totally shot battery -- couldn't hold a charge for 200 exposures! In this deal I got two Nikon batteries, and a (useless) battery grip.

This body is also in better condition: buttons like the AF/MF toggle stuck on the previous one, here everything is tiptop. The battery door is also tighter and doesn't leave a gap unlike the ex.

I also get the original box and paper manual -- yay! Those I usually like to take to bed with me -- not the box, the manual -- and browse around or just methodically read it cover to cover in 10-minute portions.

This has only 4k shutter actuations on it, unlike the 14k on the ex.

This even smells better!

For only 20 EUR more than the first one.

And one thought about (D)SLRs from a RF shooter's perspective: I don't know exactly why it often is that rangefinder shooters shoot more often wide open than SLR shooters.

How I see, in theory it should be the other way around because with SLRs one sees everything wide open in all its bokehliciousness. Through the viewfinder I see things in f/1.8 and I get accustomed to things being at f/1.8. Then one can only get disappointed when the closed-down shots develop on the back screen. And when one suddenly uses the aperture preview button things are always so dim. :)

Kind of wish the viewing aperture could be changed using the menus from lens' maximum to f/2.8 or even f/4 to see more of the world. Outdoors, could be useful? Would also help with the rare times when the lens has focus shift.

On that note I am also waiting for my first manual lens to be ready to be picked up. Micro-Nikkor-P.C 55mm f/3.5. At f/3.5 I can shoot it wide open (and I often do that 100% of the time with my Heliar f/3.5).
 

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